United Way of The Desert to Celebrate 50th Years at its Annual Gala

United Way of the Desert will hold its annual gala, celebrating 50 years of service to the desert communities in the Coachella Valley, on Friday, March 31, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. The event will take place in the Celebrity Ballroom at The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas, 71333 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage.

Hosted by KESQ TV Emmy-award winning anchor Peter Daut, the gala will bring together those who support the United Way of the Desert’s mission to break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of life for every person in the community. With the funds raised at the gala, the organization can continue to offer services through its Community Impact Fund which focuses on health programs, education, and financial stability.

The event will honor Jaishri & Raju Mehta of El Paseo Jewelers with the 2023 John J. Benoit Community Impact Award. Named after the late John Benoit, an ardent supporter of the organization, the award pays tribute to a person, business, or organization that, through their dedication, has had considerable impact in the Coachella Valley and throughout the community at large.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner and the program which includes an exciting live auction featuring one-of-a-kind Coachella Valley experiences, exciting trips, and other unique items. The gala will conclude with dancing to the Citrus College Night Shift Orchestra whose repertoire includes high-energy hits from pop, classic rock, R&B and more.

“We are so excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary as we honor our past and look forward to the future,” said CEO Kristal Granados. “Since 1973, we have provided assistance and services to improve the lives of those who need it most, and everyone attending this gala will have a direct impact on people’s lives as we continue our mission with their support.”
Saks Fifth Avenue Vice President and General Manager Dennis Flaig-Moore will chair the gala while Judy Vossler and Jack FitzGerald will serve as honorary gala co-chairs. Event sponsors include Steve Tobin, Johnny Krupa and the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation, Saks Fifth Avenue, and El Paseo Jewelers. KESQ-TV is the lead media sponsor. The Desert Sun and Local IQ are media partners.

Tickets to the gala are $295 per person. For additional information, sponsorships, tables, and tickets contact Kristal Granados at or 760.323.2731. For additional information about United Way of the Desert, visit

United Way of the Desert

United Way of the Desert is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization that has been serving residents for over 50 years. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty in the Coachella Valley through mobilizing the caring power of community. Its Community Impact Fund which focuses on education, financial stability, and health programs allows the organization to provide over 150,000 instances of annual support to local residents in need. Collaborative work with local programs, business partners and community leaders is what differentiates the United Way of the Desert. It caters to critical needs while simultaneously building positive and long-lasting community change.

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